What a pleasure to talk with Sarah Brambley and Brenda Calhoun in this episode about Innovation and STEM – at IU8. If you are from IU8 you know there is a lot going on! If you like what you hear and read please share!!
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Show notes and more….
We really connected on our mutual belief in providing high-quality learning experiences for students and teachers in rural settings during this episode. When Sarah told us that 100 teachers took professional learning modules that allowed 2500 learners to interact with STEM lessons and resources we were excited to think about all the possibilities. All the kids who could dream of inventing, communicating in a second language, learn to believe their ideas could make a difference. Listen in to learn more about our programs and how they engage learners virtually!!
Here are a few key takeaways from our conversation:
- The World of Learning and IU8 STEM program enjoy a shared vision of making learning more equitable by providing small and rural schools with high-quality learning experiences.
- STEM is hands-on learning, design thinking, and exploring robotics. It is relevant, real-world learning primarily based in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. As you can see from Sarah’s definition – it is important beyond gifted programs and is vital for ALL students to continually grow as critical thinkers. Being able to help all students get curious, get their hands on, and learn to think gives me great hope for our communities.
- IU8 STEM Ecosystem has expanded the ability to get our lending center resources into more classrooms for students to experience critical thinking, problem-solving, and seeing connections to the real world. With funds from the PA Smart Grant – teachers created courses to support other teachers to get comfortable using technology and resources to get STEM thinking in their classrooms.
- A Grable Foundation Grant has created opportunities for IU8 STEM to create a rural outreach program connecting kids and their families to STEM learning opportunities. Kids have enjoyed these opportunities so much they encouraged the STEM Rocks team to stay at their school all day – even on the weekends! (Listen in for the stories!)
- We don’t see virtual learning going away! While face-to-face interactions are crucial to learning – there is also great value in providing adult learners’ with self-paced courses, like Sarah does for the STEM lending center. Both students and teachers have lots of opportunities to interact and learn from Twitter, Youtube, and many other open-sourced content platforms. If used well these virtual experiences provide both teachers and learners with expanded options.
Let us know if you would like more information on the STEM Lending Center, STEM PD with Sarah Brambley.